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A major storm swept across Britain and into northern France on Sunday, leaving thousands of households without power.

Some 34,000 homes in central and eastern France are without electricity after winter storm Bella struck.

The regions of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes and Bourgogne-Franche-Comte as well as Alsace were particularly affected, AFP news agency reported on Sunday evening, citing the network operator Enedis. Massive snowfall is expected in parts of the country.

Power was down earlier in some 18,000 households in the northern French coastal regions of Brittany, Normandy and Hauts-de-France. The situation there has normalized and mains electricity is working again, the agency reported.

The weather service Meteo France warned of strong gusts and high waves on the Atlantic coast, while the prefecture of the department of Manche on the English Channel urged caution due to the strong winds.

Gusts of up to 145 kilometres per hour (km/h) were measured at the top of the Paris Eiffel Tower. Earlier, storm Bella hit large parts of Britain with heavy rainfall and wind speeds of up to 112 km/h. More than 100 flood warnings remained in place across the country on Sunday.

Houses were flooded in parts of Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire in eastern England. Across south-eastern England, more than 1,300 people had been advised to leave their homes over the Christmas period.

On the Isle of Wight in the English Channel, wind speeds of 170 km/h were measured overnight. The ongoing storm could cause rivers to rise further, experts warn.

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